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2018 Best New Talent - Short and Sweet Festival Sydney
2014 Pushcart Prize nominee. (more)


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Mental Health Month - The Anxiety Trap

We all suffer in some form, some of the time. So perhaps you, or someone you know, may relate to these. (Ive had my own issues since childhood).

Watch HERE on YouTube

The Anxiety Trap
aka Locked in self

Are you having a bad day?
Did they say something?
Is it the workload?
Is it that person?

Or is it something else entirely?

I’m here if you want to talk
Or if you don’t want to talk
But need a friendly voice

Do you have anxiety or depression?
If so, I get it
I’m the fucking King
It’s been my constant companion
You don’t have to explain
A thing
Instead, say no-thing
You don’t have to highlight
What’s already there
I can see it
It doesn’t deserve our focus.

I’m here
You’re there
And its in the middle
Preventing one of us
From making that first move
Into the void.

It’s cold comfort
Which keeps us
At home
On the couch
Under the covers
Our nemesis.


Kindred spirits
Locked in self.

Reaching out
Is not the first step
It’s the greatest chasm
Something they don’t understand.

We just want it to be a little easier
A little peace
In our time.

© ajl 2019

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At the end of the series I'll be compiling this poem and 9 others into a pdf for download, called All Empires Crumble. All are from 2019.


  1. Loved the lines:
    Which keeps us
    At home
    On the couch
    Under the covers
    Our nemesis.
    As an experience last week showed me, anxiety is always lurking, ready to pounce. That issue is now solved, I think, but I am sure more anxiety inducing incidents are just round the corner.

    1. Thank you Graham for reading. I'm sorry you had an experience last week. Let's hope it was an isolated one. I wouldn't wish it upon any one much less a top man like yourself.


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